Surviving Your First Year of College

People who start their first year of college should keep one thing in mind above all else: It does not matter what one did in high school because the start of college is a clean slate. So whether one was a jock, a studious person or a slacker—it doesn’t really apply to college once one gets accepted. Moving forward, the only thing that really counts is to make the most of college. Both the actions as well as the decisions the new student makes will create a massive impact on the rest of one’s college career and the rest of one’s life. That’s why it is important to know essential tips on how to survive the first year of college.

Sometimes, one just cannot choose one’s choice of roommates in college, so it is best to try to get along with them. This may be difficult, especially if personalities clash. However, one’s roommates are useful as a safety net and emotional support, because they are experiencing the same rigors of college. Thus, it is important to maintain good relations with them.

Staying organized is problematic in college because students have been used to their high school teachers guiding them through due dates and assignments. However, in college, no such personalized time management-guidance exists. In college, professors just post assignments while demanding students are prepared to tackle them. Students should buy whatever it takes—a big wall calendar or a PDA—to stay organized.

During college, it may be a problem to stay focused on studying, primarily because of the temptations of distraction that abound. Some of these examples are socializing, drinking, relationships, recreation and partying. To overcome these temptations that interfere with studying, the true purpose of college, it pays to find a quiet place to study, free from distractions. This can be a library corner or a quiet dorm.

Students are advised to stay in touch with their academic adviser. The academic advisor is there to help with scheduling courses and classes, course conflicts, and choosing majors and minors. The adviser is meant to help students get through course difficulties in general. Students should also not be scared to ask for another adviser if there are personality conflicts.

Keeping the right balance is essential to college life. Students should remember that college mixes academic and social life. The balance should not be tipped in either direction. A good motto to keep is “Study hard to play hard later on.”

It is important to strive for good grades, though that should be obvious. Students should remember that even if they got good grades in high school, it is not guaranteed that they will get good grades in college. As a result, they really have to apply themselves while in college. This means setting goals for good grades and then working hard to achieve them.

Being responsible is a virtue that is essential at all stages of life, college being no exception. While it is tempting to blame others for one’s mistakes, it is not the right approach to being successful in life. Students in college will be looked at as adults instead of the kids they were in high school. As a result, it is more than past due to own up to one’s own actions and decisions.

Eating healthy is a first-year, college-survival tip that many students overlook, primarily because they are so caught up with all the stresses of college and all the new things to consider. The freshman 15 is often gained because students do not have the greatest eating habits in their first years of college. Being conscious of what you eat will help you avoid that extra weight that so many first year college students gain.

Basic advice like getting a good night’s sleep, eating right and even taking vitamins can make all the difference in the world. Without their parents there to help them eat a balanced meal, students are going to be tempted to eat more unhealthily, which includes pursuing foods such as more junk food or TV dinners, both out of convenience as well as laziness. This kind of undisciplined eating can even lead to something called the “Freshman 15,” which is basically the average amount of weight, in pounds, that new college students apparently add to their frames in the first year of college. Keeping to a balanced diet is a great way to avoid the Freshman 15.

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